Sazhin Dmitrii

Atheism in Theory and Practise in the Soviet School Between 1950–1960: the Example of Gorky Region

Sazhin Dmitrii (2013) "Atheism in Theory and Practise in the Soviet School Between 1950–1960: the Example of Gorky Region ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2013, vol. 47, pp. 112-124 (in Russian).


This article deals with one of the most important themes of the history of the Soviet school — atheism in theory and practise in general education. This article examines the problem from the perspective of atheism as one of the fundamental and indispensable requirements of the Soviet school system and views Soviet atheistic formation as a sum total of several practical activities which were intended to lead to the formation of the new man, especially during the period from 1950-1960. Various elements went into the making of this ideological complex: elements of education with obligatory content which were inserted into the school curriculum as well as ideological formation outside the scholarly curriculum. In addition, this article also studies the way ideological elements of atheism were inserted into concrete subject material and the way it was ingrained into the students by teachers who used their own initiative to organize atheistic practical activities. All of this was done in order to instill within soviet youth the images of the Enemy and that of a Plot or Conspiracy. The activity of the atheistic Soviet School was also studied in relation to the parents of the students exposed to this sort of formation. As research sources, the author has examined juridical acts of the state, party directives, school programs and theoretical manuals for teachers. The author also investigates the level of competency and the organization of atheistic activities with special reference to the Gorky Region and takes into account the changes in the division of administration and territory undertaken during the period in question. He also analyses the eff ectiveness and competency of party and governmental functionaries and their influence on the regional and local level.


atheism, propaganda, doctrine, ideology, comprehensive school, materialism, the educational process


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Sazhin Dmitrii